The Importance of a
Building Engineer’s Inspection
Have you ever bought a used car without having it inspected for faults
or bought a new car without studying it specifications?
A micro-wave oven? A camera?
Spending money on any of these without asking “someone who knows”- other than the shop assistant or seller?
And what about buying an apartment or a home?
It’s a fact that purchasing a home is, in most cases, the largest financial transaction a person makes in their lifetime, so the importance of ensuring the best possible professional advice is surely of paramount importance.
True, anyone can see what a property looks like simply by walking through it, but a qualified and experienced Building Engineer discerns details and “reads” the signs, understanding and interpreting the findings in a clear and professional manner.
The competent Building Engineer treats each property as unique, because there are no two identical properties, even two adjacent apartments in the same building.
The methodology as follows:
Firstly, the documentation of the property provided by the client is studied to verify the address, size of the property and if required, compliance with the Building Permit, and for new properties – the configuration and specifications of the property;
Then the Building Engineer visits the property applying expertise gained over years of experience, doing a detailed visual inspection of the property, looking at the structure, windows and doors, plumbing piping and electrical installations, air conditioning and heating systems, to ascertain the condition of each element using the various tools of the trade from the simple tape-measure to specialized electronic tools such as a damp meter, an infra-red imager and sometimes, a fiber optic probe.
Of prime importance is the Building Engineer’s ability to provide the information in clear technical terminology so that you, the client, can assess the general condition of the property and be aware of those specific aspects which could have a bearing on the decision to move ahead with the deal.
More advantages of utilizing the services of a Building Engineer to inspect the property prior to making any firm commitment, can be categorized into three major aspects:
1] you, the potential owner will have a clear understanding of the condition of the property;
2] you, as the potential buyer, can utilize the information presented by the Building Engineer in the negotiating process, potentially achieving considerable savings, which could run to tens of thousands of Shekel for a relatively minor investment
3] you, as the client, have the ability to tap into the professional expertise of the Building Engineer providing detailed technical advice assisting you making informed decisions, ensuring closing the deal in the most advantageous manner.
The critical importance of the Engineer’s involvement is recognized in many countries as so essential in the process it has become a legal requirement for a Real Estate deal, on a par with the Lawyer and Realtor. This is not yet the situation here in Israel, but there are definite moves in this direction.
The quality of new construction in Israel continues to improve in all aspects. Current specifications demand better quality materials, the Israeli Standards Institute raises the quality requirement in all aspects of the Industry, technology has refined processes and improved management has resulted in better time and quality performance on and off the building sites.
Pre-handover inspection of new construction by a qualified Building Engineer has both immediate and longer-term benefits. On the one hand the Developer affords the Engineer’s report more credence, generally doing most of the repairs noted and on the other, in the unfortunate event of litigation against the Developer, the report has infinitely greater value as a court recognized document.
Used properties are sold “as-is”, without guarantees despite “Chok Hamecher” [Real Estate Law] requiring the seller to divulge the existence of major defects. This also applies to second-hand cars and salesmen, and that is why there are professional Car Testing Shops and professional Building Engineers.
Written for Zimuki Realty by
Chaim Milun B.Sc.